This chapter will present various approaches to working with lesbian perpetrators. The diversity of dynamics in violent relationships will be described here in conjunction with a selection of methods. Not every method is suitable for every type of 'perpetrator' and cannot do justice to every relationship dynamic. The art lies in selecting the appropriate method for the respective client/s in order to minimise the risk of escalation or the repetition of violence.
We are of the opinion that work with perpetrators can only be successful if both parties are involved: This can take place depending on the relationship dynamic concerned by providing support for the victim and working with the perpetrator separately or in the case of bidirectional violence, by dealing with the violent behaviour of both women.
Prerequisite to psychosocial work with violent lesbian women is consideration of the position of lesbian life, on the one hand, within a society that continues to have severe reservations in respect to lesbianism and, on the other, within a lesbian subculture that has its own values and norms.
Counsellors/therapists and trainers must be aware of these social contexts and their relevance for the lives of lesbian women and lesbian perpetrators. This also applies to the entwinement and interplay that can arise in various social contexts due to the multidimensionality of human existence, e.g. being woman, lesbian, disabled, black. These are interwoven and mutually influence one another (see Chapter 0.3. Theoretical Underpinning).